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Search Engine Optimization
A A RO N M AT T H E W WA L LSearch Engine Optimization Book! Aaron Matthew Wall144 Dahlia Drive • State College • PA 16803...
3Table of ContentsQuick Summary of Do-It-Yourself ..........................7SEO Tips .......................................
4Some Notes.....................................................90Writing for Search Engines ................................
5When Results Don’t Show ...........................257SEO Worst Practice Manual .........................258Other Problem...
6Author’s NoteChapter 3, General Internet Topics,covers many non-search relatedInternet topics. I include this becauseif y...
7Quick Summary of Do-It-Yourself SEO TipsMany people who buy this book will never read it in its entirety. To help whet yo...
8In the end, ask yourself -- Would people want to link to your site without youasking them to? If not, what creative or or...
9Keyword SelectionKeywords are what help your site get recognized by Internet search engines,and as a result, help would-b...
10" Use a single, descriptive H1 header on your page containing the keywordphrases similar to those you targeted in the pa...
11" Whenever possible, use descriptive text when linking between pages of yoursite." Link to other resources that improve ...
12Link BuildingIn the area of link building, there are many important factors to remember.After all, link building is the ...
13" Brett Tabke (owner of WebmasterWorld) wrote a quick guide worth looking atbefore building your site: http://www.webmas...
14How do you minimize your risks and make your site more stable? It’s best to mixthings up a bit and create something that...
15Social ConsiderationsNo matter how smart you are, it is going to be hard to emulate a natural link profileif you manuall...
16everyone has that much time, it is always a good call to keep learning new stuff.Rarely do I ever read a book without le...
17SEO Quick-Start ChecklistPicking a Product! Analyze your product. Are you interested in it yourself?! Analyze your marke...
18Site Optimization! Use text-based navigation.! If you already have, or insist on using, graphic navigation, use descript...
19How to Read this e-bookThere are many sections in this e-book. Most of them relate to search marketing,although some of ...
20deepest details. If you need help knowing what an acronym means, check out mySEO glossary at http://www.seobook.com/glos...
21The Social Elements of RelevancySince many of you who have bought will not read all of it, I need to make sure Ideliver ...
22And since UPI is a slow moving, 100 year-old company, the fact that they areselling PageRank should also tell you that G...
23You become a platform worthy of attention by talking about others who areworthy of attention. Getting people to pay atte...
24If a section of my e-book is not clear to you or does not make sense, then that ismy fault and I should explain it to yo...
25Why Search?Search engines take advantage of reverse broadcast networks to help save time andmoney. They are instant answ...
26people who did not want to spend much money. What did I learn? Sell what yourcustomers want, when they want it.I still d...
27Godin, Seth. Permission Marketing. New York: Simon & Schuster,1999. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0684856360/....
28Brief History of the WebThe web has become a direct marketers dream. In its infancy, the web was basedaround the core id...
29Gerard SaltonThe phrase vector space model, which search algorithms still heavily rely upon today,goes back to the 1970s...
30The IndexThe index is where the spider-collected data are stored. When you perform asearch on a major search engine, you...
31page code appear ahead of the navigation, but if it does not take much additionaleffort, it is probably worth doing. Lin...
32percentage of their page copy composed of a few keyword phrases. Thus, there isno magical page copy length that is best ...
33show up for many of the related searches, and some algorithms may see yourdocument as being less relevant. The key is to...
34Searcher FeedbackSome search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!, have toolbars and systems likeGoogle Search History and...
35Search Algorithm ShiftsSearch engines such as Google and Yahoo! may update their algorithm dozens oftimes per month. Whe...
36Image of Search ResultsOrigins of the WebThe Web started off behind the idea of the free flow of information as envision...
37Early Search EnginesThe Web did not have sophisticated search engines when it began. The mostadvanced information gather...
38I have been quoted as a source of information on Islam simply because I wroteabout a conversation I had with a person fr...
39Meta TagsMeta tags were used to help search engines organize the Web. Documents listedkeywords and descriptions that wer...
40about the document (For example, does anybody link to this page or site? Who islinking at it? What is the link text? And...
41using overtly deceptive techniques. In any business such as SEO, there will bedifferent risk levels.Search engines try h...
42I do not try to promote the latest search spamming techniques in this e-book forthe following reasons:" They are the mos...
43watching the marketplace before pouring too much effort into making a huge sitethat is hard to update.SEOBook.com has do...
44Dashed Domain NamesDirect marketing mail campaigns usually peak in effectiveness around the thirdexposure to a marketing...
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Transcript of "SEO Book by Aron Wall"

  1. 1. Search Engine Optimization
  2. 2. A A RO N M AT T H E W WA L LSearch Engine Optimization Book! Aaron Matthew Wall144 Dahlia Drive • State College • PA 16803(401) 207-1945 • seobook@gmail.comLast Updated: Friday, January 12, 2007
  3. 3. 3Table of ContentsQuick Summary of Do-It-Yourself ..........................7SEO Tips ....................................... 7SEO Tools .................................................................7Picking a Product.....................................................7Picking a Domain Name...........................................8Domain Registration & Hosting...............................8Keyword Selection....................................................9Page Optimization....................................................9Home Page Optimization...................................... 10Site Optimization................................................... 10Registering With Directories ................................ 11Link Building...................................................12When Algorithm Changes Occur.....................13Common SEO Abuse Techniques .................... 13Appearing Natural .......................................... 14Social Considerations ..................................... 15Closing Tips..................................................... 15SEO Quick-Start Checklist ....................................17How to Read this e-book .......................................19SEO as a Standalone Product .........................19The Social Elements of Relevancy ..................21Starting from Broke........................................ 22Questions, Comments & Concerns ................. 23Interactive Elements ...................................... 24Why Search? ..........................................................25Finding Prospects ..........................................25Interactive Elements ...................................... 26Some Notes..................................................... 27Brief History of the Web ........................................28The Goal of Search Engines &How They Work .............................................. 28Origins of the Web ......................................... 36Commercialized Cat & Mouse ........................ 37Choosing a Domain Name .............................. 42Hosting .......................................................... 51Interactive Elements ...................................... 53Some Notes..................................................... 54General Internet Topics .........................................56Learning Your Subject ................................... 56Changing Your Site ........................................ 61Copywriting ....................................................66Usability .........................................................70Generating Revenue ......................................76Interactive Elements ......................................86
  4. 4. 4Some Notes.....................................................90Writing for Search Engines ...................................91Keywords .......................................................92Meta Tags ....................................................111Page Title Tag Done Wrong .........................115Page Title Tag Done Right ...........................116Internal Linking............................................119Navigation ....................................................125Optimizing Your Page Copy ..........................127Building Content...........................................132Unexplored Waters.......................................137Interactive Elements ....................................137Some Notes...................................................141Directories and Communities .............................142Search Engines versus Directories ...............142Submitting Your Site ...................................143Social Interaction and Links ........................143General Directories.......................................146Niche Directories .........................................151The Active Web.............................................157Interactive Elements ....................................157Some Notes...................................................159Search Engines ....................................................160The Major Search Engines ............................160Google...........................................................160Yahoo! Search ..............................................181Microsoft.......................................................186Ask ...............................................................188Comparing Search Results ...........................192Interactive Elements ....................................193Some Notes...................................................195Link Building ........................................................197Text in Incoming Links ................................197Exchanging Links .........................................206Requesting Links ..........................................207Evaluating the Quality of a Link ..................216Free Links & Buying Links ............................218Waiting for Results.......................................232Customizing Your Browser for SEO ..............233Interactive Elements ....................................234Some Notes...................................................237Viral Marketing & the Social Web .......................238Problems with Manufacturing Relevancy.....238Real versus Artificial ....................................239Things Google Can Track .............................241My Tinfoil Hat Theories…..............................244Is Your Site Future Ready?...........................245Don’t Discount the Present Opportunity ......245Blurring Editorial vs Ads & Editors vs Users .250Market Edges ................................................253Resources .....................................................253Some Notes...................................................255Monitoring Results ..............................................257
  5. 5. 5When Results Don’t Show ...........................257SEO Worst Practice Manual .........................258Other Problems ............................................263Speeding Things Up: Paid Inclusion ...........267Other Search Engines .................................. 269Interactive Elements ....................................271Pay-Per-Click .......................................................274Before You Start ..........................................274What is Pay-Per-Click? ................................276Yahoo! Search Marketing .............................278Ad Writing Tips ............................................284Customer Tracking and Bid Management……..288Earning (and Buying) Trust ..........................290Google AdWords ...........................................292Bonus Info: How to Improve CTR and Slash Google AdWords Costs to Maximize Profits…………..296Microsoft adCenter .......................................309Resources Cited ............................................310Some Notes...................................................314Hiring a Search Engine Optimizer .....................315The Goal of this e-book.................................315What are My Goals?...................................... 315SEO Business Models ....................................316More Information on Buying SEO Services...320Resources .....................................................321Selling SEO Services...........................................322Online Auctions.............................................322Forums..........................................................323Writing Articles.............................................323Ideal Clients..................................................324Where to find Clients.................................... 324Questions to Ask Clients...............................325Being Your Size.............................................326Contracting & Outsourcing...........................327Cold Calling...................................................327Niche: SEO Guy – Real Estate.......................327Sales Cycle....................................................328Contracts ......................................................328Reports .........................................................329Dependency on Free Traffic..........................329Affiliate Sites & Passive Income Streams.....330Resources ....................................................330
  6. 6. 6Author’s NoteChapter 3, General Internet Topics,covers many non-search relatedInternet topics. I include this becauseif you do well with many of the “non-search” related topics it becomes fareasier to build a linking campaign andachieve top search engine placement.For competitive phrases, linkpopularity and the words in thoselinks are the single most importantpart of Search EngineOptimization (SEO). But to get theright types of people to want to votefor you your site needs to do manythings well.With most websites, conversion andprofit are more important than thesheer amount of traffic you get.Making small changes within your sitecan double or triple your conversionrate. If you do everything elsecorrectly, you do not need to put asmuch effort into SEO.If you already know the topics coveredin Chapter 3, feel free to skip overthem. More than trying to answer allquestions about the web, Chapter 3 isthere to help point you towardanswers to other Internet business-related questions you may have.Before getting too far into SEO, thinkabout whether the idea you have isone that will be easy to spread. If it isnot, think of how you can transformyour concept into something that iseasier to disseminate throughout theInternet.It is usually far easier and far moreprofitable to create an idea worthspreading than it is to spread an ideanot worth spreading.Disclaimer: Since search engines areconstantly changing while still keepingsecret their algorithms, there is no wayto know the exact algorithms at anygiven time. However, due to datacollected through observations ofsearch engines over the past severalyears, it is my hope that this book willteach you how to make informedobservations and decisions as searchengines continue to change. Withenough experience, one can discernpatterns in the search engine puzzle,and as a result, figure out how theprocess works. This guide was createdto help you learn to identify thosepatterns and solve the puzzle.While following this guide should helpimprove your rankings, I, the authorof this book, shall not be heldresponsible for damages because ofthe use (or misuse) of this information.
  7. 7. 7Quick Summary of Do-It-Yourself SEO TipsMany people who buy this book will never read it in its entirety. To help whet yourpalate and ensure you get some value out of this text (and, therefore, read thewhole thing), here is a quick-start checklist highlighting the most important aspectsof search engine optimization and Internet marketing. When looking to start withsearch engine optimization, consider the following issues:SEO ToolsOftentimes using the right tools can save you both time and money. I have createda free PDF checklist of all the SEO tools I use. You may download it here:http://www.seobook.com/seo-tools.pdfPicking a ProductYou may read this title and think that you have already accomplished this step,and that your product (or your vision for your product) is already refined,wrapped, and ready for purchase. However, there are many key questions thatshould be considered before bringing your wares or service to customers:" Are you interested in the product you are trying to sell? If not, why not choosea different product?The Internet makes marketing anything a possibility. You are far morelikely to succeed if you are interested in what you are trying to sell. Also, it isfar easier to sell people what they want than to get them to want your product.Create something the market wants." Is the marketplace for your product oversaturated?Examples: Posters, credit cards, prescription drugs, hosting, generic sitedesign, and ink refills are all oversaturated markets. Breaking into thesemarkets can be exceptionally difficult, so think carefully about what wouldmake your product different and needed." Is the product something people would want to order over the web?" Is there something you can do to make yourself different than everyone elseon the market? (Please note: “cheaper” usually is not a legitimatebranding/business model for most websites in a hyper-competitive market.)Example: No other e-book covering SEO was supported by a blog thatkeeps up with the SEO industry every day (at least, not when I first wrote thisone).Another example: In 2002, I created a SEO “worst practices” directory.To this day, nobody else has made a site like it. It earned me thousands in thefirst year with a marketing budget well under $100.
  8. 8. 8In the end, ask yourself -- Would people want to link to your site without youasking them to? If not, what creative or original ideas can you add to your siteto make people want to link to it?Picking a Domain NameFinding the right domain name can be a tricky business, and indeed, can meanthe difference between success and failure in the online marketplace. As such,it is important to consider the following before choosing a domain name:" FOR NEW SITES: Depending on your branding angle, pick a domain namethat is either highly brandable (meaning that it can be easily and positivelyassociated with your product or service) or has your primary keywords in it.Use a short and memorable domain name. It is fine if it does not have yourkeywords in it if it is memorable. For serious, long-term websites, a memorabledomain name will be one of the key ingredients to success." If you are going to be working in competitive fields, or if you will have largesites, you may want to use a different domain for each different language youare targeting.Examples of domain names I own: BlackHatSEO.com,SEOBook.com, FattyWeightLoss.com, and Threadwatch.orgDomain Registration & HostingOnce you have selected a domain name, you must make sure that it isavailable, and then register it. After your domain name has been registered,you must find a reliable host for your website." Register your domain with an ICANN (Internet Corporation for AssignedNames and Numbers) accredited registrar. I use GoDaddy." Register as a .com if possible, if you have a global market. If you cannot get a.com, but a great .net or .org is still available, it might be worth it to registerone of those instead of registering a longer (and less memorable) .com domain." If you are targeting a specific country or language, register a domain name inthat country’s top-level domain designation (e.g., buy a co.uk website for aU.K.-targeted site). Also buy the .com version of your domain name and pointit at your country-specific location." Oftentimes certain directories and search engines will either be biased towardlocal sites will or only let local sites in the index. “Local” may mean endingwith a local domain and/or being hosted on a server in that country." Host your site with a reliable host. I recommend DreamHost or Pair.com." For dynamic sites, make sure your host supports the technology you will beusing (such as ASP or PHP) before spending money.
  9. 9. 9Keyword SelectionKeywords are what help your site get recognized by Internet search engines,and as a result, help would-be customers find your Internet presence. Thereare many strategies that can be employed to ensure the likelihood of yourwebsite coming up in keyword searches:" Use a keyword tool to help you find the most targeted keywords for your site.The tool at http://tools.seobook.com/general/keyword/ is free and cross-referencesjust about every useful keyword research tool on the market." Pick themes or keyword baskets around which you can optimize the varioussections of your site." Targeting keyword phrases is a much better idea than trying to target individualwords. Keyword phrases tend to be easier to rank well for AND they typicallyconvert far better than individual words." Target different keyword phrases on each page." Target no more than one or two primary and two or three secondary keywordphrases per page." If you generate hundreds (or even thousands) of pages of content, make surethey read well and have unique content. Over time, if people cite your content,your page will start to rank for many different terms as long as it is unique andtargeted around a theme.Page OptimizationPage optimization is the process of making sure that your website functions inthe most effective way possible in relation to search engines. The followingare steps you can take to optimize your page:" Use your keywords in your page title. Place the most important keywordphrase close to the beginning of the page title. Do not put your site title onevery page of your site unless you are really trying to brand that name. In thatscenario, it still is usually best to place the site name at the end of the pagetitles." Shorter site titles are usually better than really long ones." Sometimes I overlap related keyword phrases in the page title. Overlappingkeyword phrases in the page title can help you pick up multiple search phrases.For example, professional search engine marketing services helps me obtain goodrankings for (1) search engine marketing, (2) professional search engine marketing, (3)search engine marketing services, and (4) professional search engine marketing services." Meta tags are not extremely important, but they can help some. The metadescription should be a sentence to a paragraph describing the page contents.The meta description tag can be seen in some search results, so you want towrite it for human eyes and for it be compelling." The meta keywords tag is probably not worth the time to make, but if you domake one, it should contain your primary keyword and its commonmisspellings and synonyms. Each keyword phrase in the keywords tag shouldbe comma separated.
  10. 10. 10" Use a single, descriptive H1 header on your page containing the keywordphrases similar to those you targeted in the page title. This helps reinforce thepage title." Use descriptive subheaders (H2 or H3) before every paragraph or every fewparagraphs. This improves usability and helps define what the page is about tosearch engines without making the page look like it was written for a searchengine." Use bulleted lists and bolding to break up content and make it easier to read." Write your content for human consumption. If you write exclusively forsearch engines, the pages will read poorly and nobody will want to look atthem.Home Page OptimizationIn addition to page optimization for search engines, it is also important tooptimize your sites home page for customers in order to make sure itfunctions efficiently." Make sure your home page builds credibility and directs consumers to themost important parts of your site." Target your most competitive keyword phrase with the home page or with apage that is directly linked to from the home page." Link to the major theme pages from your home page." Link to your home page from every page of your site. Include your site nameand/or the home page’s primary keyword phrase in the text links pointing toit." If you think your site is being filtered out of the search results for being toofocused on a word or phrase, you may want to make the link to your homepage just say something like “home”.Site OptimizationYour home page is just the starting point for what will probably be a verymulti-layered and multifaceted website. As such, it is important to look atevery page your site contains to ensure a cohesive, streamlined design thatworks well with search engines as well as customers. Keep the following inmind:" Use text-based navigation." If you use graphic navigation, use descriptive alt text for your image links, andlink to your primary pages from every page of your site using footer text links." Use descriptive/keyword-rich breadcrumb navigation to help search enginesunderstand the structure of your site.e.g., home page link(use keywords in it) > level 1 > level 2 >page I am on" Use a site map to help search engines spider through your site.
  11. 11. 11" Whenever possible, use descriptive text when linking between pages of yoursite." Link to other resources that improve your user’s experience. If you referenceresearch and trusted sources within your content, readers will think of yourcontent as information, rather than simply being sales-oriented." Deep link to related articles and content from within the active content sectionof your page copy." If you want your site to convert, assume many site visitors will ignore theglobal navigation. Actively guide people toward conversion from within theactive content area of your website. This website, http://www.AndyHagans.com,does an excellent job of this." Use CSS to improve the look and feel of your pages. Put it in an external file.Registering With DirectoriesRegister your site with the major directories and second-tier general directories.Try to register with about a half-dozen to a dozen of the better general directories ifyou are targeting Google. If you are targeting the other engines first and can waiton Google, you may want to register with about twenty to fifty general directories.Register with at least a couple local or niche-specific directories. Niche-specificdirectories are findable via search engines and some are listed athttp://www.isedb.com, but you should check to ensure they provide static links beforespending money registering your sites, although directories that rank well maydeliver quality traffic even if they do not provide direct links.Search for things like “<my keywords> + <add URL>” to find other nichedirectories.Oftentimes I do not mind spending hundreds of dollars getting links from differentsites (or directories) across many different IP ranges. Many of the second-tierdirectories charge a one-time fee for listing, and some of them allow you to addyour sites free if you become an editor.In my directory of directories, I have 50-100 general directories listed in the generaldirectory categories. Most top ranking sites in mildly competitive fields do nothave text links from fifty different sites pointing to them, so if you can afford it,doing this offers a huge advantage to you for your Yahoo! and MSN rankings, butyou need to choose directories carefully when considering how TrustRank(explained in the Google section of this e-book) may effect Google.If you are in more competitive fields and rent some powerful links, these listings invarious directories can help stabilize your rankings when search engine algorithmsshift.Some directories I highly recommend are Yahoo!, DMOZ, Business.com, JoeAnt,Best of the Web, and Gimpsy.
  12. 12. 12Link BuildingIn the area of link building, there are many important factors to remember.After all, link building is the single most important part of achieving a high-ranking website in modern search engines. As such, there are many things thatcan significantly impact the growth and spread of links to your site:" Make sure your site has something that other webmasters in your niche wouldbe interested in linking to." Create content that people will be willing to link to, even if it is not directlyeasy to monetize. These linkworthy pages will lift the authority and rankingsof all pages on your site." Create something that legitimate webmasters interested in your topic would beinterested in linking to." When possible, try to get your keywords in many of the links pointing to yourpages." Register with, participate in, or trade links with topical hubs and related sites.Be in the discussion or at least be near the discussion." Look for places from which you can get high-quality free links (like locallibraries or chambers of commerce)." If you have some good internal content, try to get direct links to your innerpages." Produce articles and get them syndicated to more authoritative sites." Start an interesting and unique blog and write about your topics, products,news, and other sites in your community." Comment on other sites with useful relevant and valuable comments." Participate in forums to learn about what your potential consumers think isimportant. What questions do they frequently have? How do you solve thoseproblems?" Issue press releases with links to your site." Leave glowing testimonials for people and products you really like.Oftentimes when the product owner or person posts the testimonials, they willinclude a link back to your site." Sponsor charities, blogs, or websites related to your site." Consider renting links if you are in an extremely competitive industry. Adult,gaming, credit, and pharmacy categories will likely require link rentals and/orbuilding topical link networks." Mix your link text up. Adding words like buy or store to the keywords in yoursome of your link text can make it look like more natural linkage data and helpyou rank well for many targeted secondary phrases." Survey your vertical and related verticals. What ideas/tools/articles havebecome industry standard tools or well-cited information? What ideas aremissing from the current market space that could also fill that niche?" If you have a large site, make sure you create legitimate reasons for people towant to reference more than just your home page." If you are looking to hire an SEO, you may want to look athttp://www.honestseo.com or feel free to ask me to recommend you to someone.
  13. 13. 13" Brett Tabke (owner of WebmasterWorld) wrote a quick guide worth looking atbefore building your site: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/2010.htmWhen Algorithm Changes OccurYour rankings will improve. They will also get worse. Many people rush off tochange things right away when the algorithms change. Sometimes the searchengines roll in new algorithms aggressively, and then later roll them back. Theycannot fight off new forms of spam and determine how aggressive to be with newalgorithms unless they sometimes go too far with them.If you are unsure of what just happened, then you may not want to start changingthings until you figure it out. Sometimes when algorithms are rolled back or madeless aggressive, many sites still do not rank well because their webmasters changedthings that were helping them. Nobody is owed a good rank, and just because aranking temporarily changes does not mean that a site has been penalized. It is farmore likely that the ranking criteria shifted and the site may not match the newranking criteria as well as it matched the old ranking criteria.One of the greatest SEO techniques is knowing when to do nothing at all. I hadone client with whom I shared profit, but for whom I did not do much work afterthe first few months. Why? After I built his site up, he had a strong marketposition. I could have kept building many links, but it would not help him reachmuch more of the market. It would have added nothing but cost and risk. If youare too aggressive, it adds to the risk profile without adding much on the rewardside.Tim Mayer, a well-known Yahoo! search engineer, once mentioned that it did notmake sense to bring a knife to a gun fight (when referring to how to compete forterms like Viagra). The opposite also holds true -- if you are using a shotgun, andthe competing sites are using slingshots, then you stand a greater chance of beingpenalized.All SEO techniques are just a balance of risk versus reward, and while you want torank at or near the top of the search results, you probably do not want to usetechniques that are exceptionally aggressive as compared to the other top-rankingsites if you intend to build a site for long-term profits.Common SEO Abuse TechniquesThere is no such thing as a perfectly optimized page. Search engines do not want toreturn the most optimized page, but the page that best satisfies the searcher’sgoals.If you have a page title and H1 header that are exactly the same, and all of yourinternal links and all of your inbound links from other sites pointing to that pageuse that same text, then that looks suspicious (like attempted rankingmanipulation). As a result, the search engines may de-weight that or filter that outof the search results.
  14. 14. 14How do you minimize your risks and make your site more stable? It’s best to mixthings up a bit and create something that markets itself. Or, try looking at thingslike a search engine engineer would.There is a concept called poison words, where if you have things like link exchange, addURL, or link partners on a page, there stands a good chance a search engines mayplace less weight on that page or its outbound links. In the past, some commonpoison words were things like forum and guestbook. The more likely the content is tobe of low quality or related to spam, the more likely search engines want to de-weight it.Search engines may want to penalize the use of “spammy” sites using an H1header, so instead people use an H2 header for the highest level header tag on thespammy sites. Maybe they look to de-weight site-wide links to the home page nearthe end of the page code using the exact same link text as the home page’s pagetitle, so instead you link to the home page from earlier in the page code and/or useslightly different anchor text than your page title and most of your link profile.Keep in mind that some of the search relevancy algorithms are genetic algorithmsthat train themselves to test the relevancy of new result sets, but humans stillprogram them. Google wants to have a bias toward informational resources.Yahoo! will be more biased toward commerce. These biases can affectoptimization, as well.In addition, some guys like DaveN mention lots of subtle tips like the ones I justdiscussed. If you think like a search engineer, those techniques that are common inSEO and not so common on regular websites are the most likely to be de-weightedor penalized. Remember that optimizing content is about matching quality signs,but if you match too many too closely, it could send a negative signal.Appearing NaturalA recent theme in SEO is finding ways to appear natural. Search engines do notwant the most optimized sites at the top of the search results. They want the bestpages and best sites.There are only so many things search engines can look at to determine the qualityof a website. You can emulate many of them, but as search algorithms advance, itwill continue to get more difficult. Inevitably, influencing people directly (insteadof going after the algorithms) is going to have a higher ROI for many webmasters.How do you create a natural linkage profile? Create something that lots of peoplelink to without you needing to ask them. Build a real brand that will get people’sattention.How do you write optimized content? Make the page title clear and then writecontent remarkable enough that people will want to reference it.
  15. 15. 15Social ConsiderationsNo matter how smart you are, it is going to be hard to emulate a natural link profileif you manually build it all. Going forward, the key to doing well in Google isearning natural citations. If you didn’t own your site, would you still visit it everyweek? What can you do to grab bloggers’ attention? What can you do to makesome of your competitors want to link to your site without you needing to ask forthe links?Closing TipsThe web is nothing but a big social network. SEO was my entry to the web, but Ihave bigger hopes, dreams, and goals in mind. No matter what your goals are,SEO can help you get there from the start. But at some point, it will be necessaryfor you to find ways to get other people to want to syndicate your ideas. Its kindof like what Abe Lincoln was saying when he said, “With public sentiment, nothingcan fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”I am somewhat altruistic in that I believe if you study and do what you areinterested in (even if it is on the side to start), then eventually it will drive youtoward success.I also want to share a quote with you from Weaving the Web by one my favorite webpersonalities, and the man who created the Web, Tim Berners-Lee:People have sometimes asked me whether I am upset that I have notmade a lot of money from the Web. In fact, I made some quiteconscious decisions about which way to take my life. These I wouldnot change - though I am making no comment on what I might do inthe future. What does distress me, though, is how important aquestion it seems to be to some. This happens mostly in America,not Europe. What is maddening is the terrible notion that a person’svalue depends on how important and financially successful they are,and that that is measured in terms of money. That suggestsdisrespect for the researchers across the globe developing ideas forthe next leaps in science and technology. Core in my upbringing wasa value system that put monetary gain well in its place, behind thingslike doing what I really want to do. To use net worth as a criterion bywhich to judge people is to set our children’s’ sights on cash ratherthan on things that will actually make them happy.Most successful web-based businesses do not need to actively practice SEO.Optimizing for search engines does help improve the bottom line and help get youfound, but after you are found, it is up to you to convert. It is up to you how hardand creatively you work to develop your business and reputation.If this is the last book or e-book you ever read about running your business online,I would consider that a mistake. I try to read at least one book a month (it wasabout three a week when I was just getting started on the web). While not
  16. 16. 16everyone has that much time, it is always a good call to keep learning new stuff.Rarely do I ever read a book without learning an important lesson or good idea.As mentioned before, the web is a big social network, and it gives quick feedback.Do not be afraid to read from, and learn from, competitors and people in otherfields. Do not be afraid to participate in it…that is how you really learn. If younever make a mistake and never screw up badly, then you probably won’t do toomany spectacular things either.Search engines try to emulate users who are largely driven by the social connectionsoff the web. Create friendships and get media coverage and you win.I am not a creative genius nor am I a branding expert, but if you need help comingup with another angle to promote your business from or need SEO help, don’thesitate to shoot me an e-mail and I will see if and how I can help in any way.Also, create a blog to see if you like writing. Too few people ever actually speaktheir mind in this world. This blogging website (http://www.blogger.com) is free andeasy to set up. Or, if you are a bit more technically inclined, I would recommendusing http://wordpress.org/.Best of luck with everything & to your success,Aaron
  17. 17. 17SEO Quick-Start ChecklistPicking a Product! Analyze your product. Are you interested in it yourself?! Analyze your market. Is it oversaturated? Is it growing or changing?! Is it easy to order your product from the web? Or are you selling commodity dogfood that is expensive to ship?! What can you do to be unique in the market?! What creative and original ideas can you add to your site?Picking a Domain Name! FOR NEW SITES: Ponder your domain name choice. Depending on your brandstrategy, it should either be highly brandable or have your primary keywords in it.! Consider buying different domain names for each targeted language or niche inyour market.Domain Registration & Hosting! Choose an ICANN accredited registrar.! Register a .com as soon as possible.! Register a country’s top-level domain if your primary market is local in nature.! Choose a host that supports the technology you will be using (ASP or PHP, etc.).Keyword Selection! Use keyword tools and customer feedback to find the most targeted keywordphrases for your site.! Develop grouped themes of keywords that reflect the different sections of yoursite.! Keeping within a grouped theme, choose different keywords to target each page.Page Optimization! Put your chosen words for each page in your page title tags. Make sure your pagetitle tag text is unique to each page.! Write a description for the meta description tag. Make sure your description isunique to each page.! Use only one H1 header per page, and target similar keyword phrases as the onesyou targeted when writing the page title.! Use subheaders H2 and H3 on your page when necessary.! Use bulleted lists and bolding to make content easier to read.! Make sure your text is written for human consumption—not bots.Home Page Optimization! Make sure your home page builds credibility and directs consumers to the mostimportant parts of your site.! Target your most competitive keyword on your home page or a page that is wellintegrated into your site.! Link to major theme pages from your home page.! Link to your home page from every sub page.
  18. 18. 18Site Optimization! Use text-based navigation.! If you already have, or insist on using, graphic navigation, use descriptive alt texton the images, and link to every primary page from your sub pages in the footer ofthe sub pages.! Use descriptive keyword breadcrumb navigation.! Make a site map.! Check the text that links pages of your site to make sure it’s descriptive wheneverpossible.! Link to resources outside your own site that improve each users experience.! Deep link to related articles and content from your page copy.! Rely as little as possible on the site navigation. Instead, guide your visitor throughyour site with links in the active content portion of the site.! Link to, and use, a cascading style sheet from every page.! Avoid duplicate content issues. Ensure that each page has significantly uniquecontent that does not exist on other pages on your site or other sites.Registering With Directories! Register your site with the major directories.! Register your site with a couple better second-tier directories.! Register with a couple local or niche-specific directories.Link Building! Make sure your site has something that other webmasters in your niche would beinterested in linking to.! Create content that people will be willing to link at even if it is not directly easy tomonetize. These linkworthy pages will lift the authority and rankings of all pageson your site.! When possible, get your keywords in the link text pointing to your site.! Register with, participate in, or trade links with topical hubs and related sites. Bein the discussion or at least be near the discussion.! Look for places to get high-quality free links from (like local libraries or chambersof commerce).! Produce articles and get them syndicated to more authoritative sites.! Participate in forums to learn about what your potential consumers think isimportant.! Issue press releases with links to your site.! Leave glowing testimonials for people and products you really like.! Start an interesting and unique blog and write about your topics, products, news,and other sites in your community.! Comment on other sites with useful relevant and valuable comments.! Sponsor charities, blogs, or websites related to your site.! Consider renting links if you are in an extremely competitive industry.! Mix your link text up, if you can.! Survey your vertical and related verticals. What ideas/tools/articles have becomeindustry standard tools or well-cited information? What ideas are missing?! Read Brett Tabke’s quick couple-page guidehttp://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/2010.htm
  19. 19. 19How to Read this e-bookThere are many sections in this e-book. Most of them relate to search marketing,although some of them relate to other aspects of the web.While I actively market this book as being about search engine optimization, it isactually more about everything I know about marketing on the web. While thereare many guides to how and where to start on the web, most of them are laced withaffiliate links and bogus recommendations. The goal of this guide is what I hadwished I read when I jumped on the web a few years ago. I also reference the mostuseful resources I have found in each field so that if you are interested in learningmore about those subjects, you can see what I recommend.Some areas might read well, whereas others might be a bit choppy. The reason forthis is that I rewrite sections of it frequently. What started off as a 24-page file is, acouple of years later, a few hundred pages long. I try to reread it as often as I canwithout getting burned out from reading it too much. It is a hard balance to strikebetween constantly learning and updating everything I have learned. At the sametime, I have to learn about search in depth so that I can also provide better-than-average information about that topic.If you already know a topic covered in a certain section of this book, well then, youmay not learn much (or anything) from that section. I don’t expect to be able totell a 20-year professional copywriter how to do her job. The point of the othersections is that SEO works much better as a marketing mechanism if you use it inconjunction with other ideas, and do not attempt to do SEO on its own.SEO as a Standalone ProductSearch algorithms are still in their infancy. Many people will still be able to runsuccessful businesses doing nothing but SEO for at least a few years to come.When I was new to SEO, and only knew a bit about it, I did not have a strongbrand or understand marketing well. I did things like rank people for terms worthhundreds of thousands of dollars while charging them a one-time $300 fee. Didmy efforts pay off? Sure, but due to my ignorance of the business end of theprocess, I still almost wound up bankrupt because I undercharged for services.As you learn more about the value of SEO and how it integrates into the web, youshould be able to increase your income or social reach significantly. Only bypairing SEO with other marketing methods or viewing the web through a largerlens will you be able to fully appreciate the value of SEO.If you do not know what PPC, CSS, SSI, CMS, or many of the acronyms mean, itdoes not make sense to try to learn all of them in one day. It took me a couple ofyears to learn what I have written in this e-book. With that said, in many areas it issufficient to understand how or why something works, without knowing all the
  20. 20. 20deepest details. If you need help knowing what an acronym means, check out mySEO glossary at http://www.seobook.com/glossary/.On top of being a book to read, I also wanted this book to act as a reference guide.The index makes it quick and easy to flip through to a specific area if you want tolook at something more in-depth later.While some of this guide talks about technical details, they may not be thatimportant for the average webmaster to know. For example, latent semanticindexing finds mathematical patterns in language and determines what concepts apage represents using mathematics to represent those words. All most peoplereally need to know about latent semantic indexing is that those types of algorithmswould favor natural writing over unnatural keyword stuffed gibberish.There are many other algorithms and ideas driving search, but at the end of theday, the end goal of all the algorithms is to favor useful content that people careabout so the results are relevant, which, in turn, allows the engines to make moremoney serving ads.Content has many meanings though, and there are different ways to make contentuseful to different people. This is not a rule-filled, exact guide for what you shoulddo to promote your site. Think of it more as a guide to a way of thinking ofcreative marketing ideas. Some of the ideas in this e-book are here to spark yourcreativity and to help you think of ways to gain strong advantages over yourcompetition.Any Internet marketing method that is only formula-based misses the social aspectsof the web and, therefore, can fall into any one of the following pitfalls:" Leaving footprints that are easy to detect and discount (and thus has a highrisk to reward ratio, and/or may be a complete waste of time)." Leaving footprints that are easy for competitors to duplicate (and thus buildsno competitive advantage)." Ignoring your strengths and weaknesses, thereby wasting your time with beingfocused on a formula, instead of taking advantage of your strengths andminimizing your weaknesses." Being beaten in the search results when an open-minded, creative competitorleverages the social aspects of the web.The goal of this book is to help you think up unique ideas that help you build realvalue, social/business relationships, and competitive advantages that are hard toduplicate.I have worked with Fortune 500 companies worth tens and even hundreds ofbillions of dollars, and I have also built five-page websites. Don’t think everythingin this book has to apply to you or your website. Take the pieces that make senseand use them to build and leverage your reach and brand value.
  21. 21. 21The Social Elements of RelevancySince many of you who have bought will not read all of it, I need to make sure Ideliver great value in the first few pages to ensure you get your money’s worth.Relevancy is never static. Due to commercial market forces, search isCONSTANTLY broken. Thus, if you think of this e-book as a literal guide, it toowill always be broken. Instead of thinking of the web and search in terms ofalgorithms it helps to think of the web as a large social network. Ask yourselfquestions like" What are people talking about?" What stories are spreading?" Why are they spreading?" Who is spreading them?" How are they spreading them?The reason search relies so heavily on the social elements is that page content andsite structure are so easy to manipulate. It takes a mind well-tuned into marketingto be able to influence or manipulate people directly.There are ways to fake authority, and when you are new it may make sense to pushthe envelope on some fronts. But invariably, anything that is widely manipulated isnot a strong signal of authority.Here is an advertisement I found in Gmail (Google’s email service):Notice that their ads said they were selling Google PageRank. Then if you went totheir site, the ads looked like this:Google wants to count real editorial votes. Consider the following:" It is not common for news sites to link section-wide to an online bingo site." Most of the ads are irrelevant to the content of the pages." There are a large number of paid links right next to each other." The site has amazing authority.Given all the above, it makes sense that Google would not want to count thoselinks. When I posted about how overt that PageRank selling was, Matt Cutts, aleading Google engineer, hinted that Google had already taken care of not countingthose links.
  22. 22. 22And since UPI is a slow moving, 100 year-old company, the fact that they areselling PageRank should also tell you that Google’s relevancy algorithms havemoved far beyond just considering PageRank. I have PageRank 5 sites that get 100times the traffic that some of my PageRank 7 sites do, because they have bettercontent and a more natural link profile.If you do buy links, think of the page as though you were an editor for a searchengineer. Does the link look like it is a natural part of the page? Or is it anobviously purchased link?What if instead of thinking of ways to try to create false authority, you looked at theweb in terms of a social network, where the best ideas and the best marketed ideasspread? Now that might get you somewhere.Starting from BrokeWhat if you are starting with nothing? Can you still compete? Of course you can.At the end of 2002, I got kicked out of the military for using drugs. At that point, Iwas experiencing a number of things:" Suicidal depression" Financial bankruptcy, living on credit cards" Social isolation" Ignorance to the web, SEO, and marketing (slightly less serious, I know)Within 4 years, I had pulled myself out of this emotional and psychological slump,and had achieved success:" I was fairly knowledgeable about the web, SEO, and marketing." I had made lots of friends." I was getting mentioned in the Wall Street Journal (and many othernewspapers)." I was speaking at colleges about SEO (one college even wanted to hire me tobecome a professor)." I had venture capitalists offering to invest in this site." I had a mainstream publisher offer to publish this book.What did I have that allowed me to do well? I had a passion for learning. Thatpassion helped me attract great friends who took me under their wing and helpedme far more than I could have ever expected. It takes time to do well, but if youkeep pushing, keep learning, keep sharing, and are trying to help others, eventuallyyou will do well on the web.Many true web authorities started out as topical hubs. People who had no intent ofcreating a business would just freely talk about a subject they loved, and linked outto related websites they found useful. Every web marketer should read this post:http://chartreuse.wordpress.com/2006/09/18/why-paris-hilton-is-famous-or-understanding-value-in-a-post-madonna-world/
  23. 23. 23You become a platform worthy of attention by talking about others who areworthy of attention. Getting people to pay attention is a real cost. You have to getpeople to pay attention before you can extract value from your work.To most people, the single most relevant and important thing in the world isthemselves.Here is a quote from Radiohead’s Meeting People is Easy:If you have been rejected many times in your life, then one morerejection isnt going to make much difference. If youre rejected,dont automatically assume its your fault. The other person mayhave several reasons for not doing what you are asking her to do:none of it may have anything to do with you. Perhaps the personis busy or not feeling well or genuinely not interested in spendingtime with you. Rejections are part of everyday life. Dont let thembother you. Keep reaching out to others. When you begin toreceive positive responses then you are on the right track. Its all amatter of numbers. Count the positive responses and forget aboutthe rejections.You are not always going to be able to predict what will work and what doesn’t, butthe more you keep learning and the more things you try the better the odds are thatsomething will stick. Internet marketing is just like offline marketing, but cheaper,faster, and more scalable.Questions, Comments & ConcernsSome people ask me to do ten hours worth of competitive analysis for free.Generally, I cannot do hours of consulting for free, but if you have a quickquestion or do not understand something, please make sure you e-mail me so I cantry my best to help you.You bought this book hoping to get useful and easy-to-understand information,and my goal is to give that to you. I have probably read millions of forum posts andweb pages, so many of the random thoughts scattered throughout this e-bookmight not make a bunch of sense to someone who has not done the same. Someof the ideas came from errors I made on my sites, and some of them came fromerrors friends made.Most sites do not end up getting banned or penalized from search engines withoutreason, although on rare occasion it does happen. Sometimes engines are quick torespond, and sometimes they do not care much. As you learn more about whythey do certain things and how the business aspects play into the algorithms, itbecomes easier to evaluate where they might go and how they might try to gothere.SEO is both reactive and proactive.
  24. 24. 24If a section of my e-book is not clear to you or does not make sense, then that ismy fault and I should explain it to you. Feel free to send me an e-mail if you haveANY questions.This book is primarily my voice and how I understand the web. To help give you abroader perspective, I also interviewed many search, marketing, and web experts. Irecommend you also read the bonus interviews at http://www.seobook.com/seo-interviews.pdf.Best of luck with your sites,-Aaronseobook@gmail.comInteractive ElementsLiteratureChartreuse. “Why Paris Hilton is Famous (Or Understanding Value In aPost- Madonna World).” 2006. Chartreuse Internet MediaNetwork Management. 18 September 2006.<http://chartreuse.wordpress.com/2006/09/18/why-paris-hilton- is- famous-or-understanding-value-in-a-post-madonna-world/>.Wall, Aaron. “SEO Glossary.” SEO Book. 02 December 2006. <http://www.seobook.com/glossary/>.---. “SEO Interviews.” SEO Book. 02 December 2006. <http://www.seobook.com/seo-interviews.pdf/>.
  25. 25. 25Why Search?Search engines take advantage of reverse broadcast networks to help save time andmoney. They are instant answer systems that provide ultra-targeted advertising.Search allows you to sell what your customers want, when they want it.Finding ProspectsI had just finished reading Permission Marketing by Seth Godin when I becameengaged in one of the most interesting chat sessions of my life. A random kidfrom California instant messaged me to say hello. In much the same way as othermarketers do, he scouted the web to find his ideal client. This guy searchedthrough Yahoo! profiles and found that on my profile I wrote that I collectedbaseball cards.He wanted to know if Barry Bonds was my favorite player. He told me he had over16,000 Barry Bonds cards. I told him that I had an autographed serial numberedBarry Bonds rookie, but baseball cards did not mean much to me anymore.I asked if he did business over the Internet. He, of course, said no. It was clear tome why. He had no way to display any of his cards, and he was using spam tocontact people. I asked him if he wanted to have a website on which to sell hiscards.He told me he couldn’t afford it; he said that it was too expensive. But, I thought,what is a fair price for limitless distribution?Baseball cards, like many collectible commodities, usually drop in value rathersharply once a player retires or that collectible goes out of fashion. Not only doesthe price drop, but demand plummets. It’s a logarithmic loss of value. I havepicked up Robin Yount and Dave Winfield rookies for $5 and $8 each; both cardswent for $100 or more in their heyday.This kid wanted to buy my autographed Barry Bonds rookie card to add to his16,000 Bonds cards. Even though he‘ll never sell them, he thought he was doingbusiness. I sold baseball cards back in high school, and I knew how to do it well.But I did not know it well when I started. I was trying to sell expensive cards toChapter1With search you do nothunt for your customers.While they are activelyinterested in your productsor services, they hunt foryou.
  26. 26. 26people who did not want to spend much money. What did I learn? Sell what yourcustomers want, when they want it.I still displayed some of my $400 and up baseball cards, just to get the “oohs” and“ahhs.” I learned that once you have a crowd, many people follow just to see whatis going on, and then you can make sales. I knew I would not sell these cards. Sowhat did I change?I created a display case with stacks of all the major stars and local popular players.Each card was $1.00. It did not matter if the card was worth twenty-five cents orfour dollars; I just put $1.00 on each of them. I kept up with whom was doing welland would buy up cards of players that were about to become popular. Buy-priceranged from three cents to a quarter a card. Most of the cards I bought wereconsidered ‘junk’ by the sellers, yet I re-sold most within a month or two.By taking the time to go through their junk and making ordering simple, I mademoney. That $1 display case was a gold mine. Usually, that case sold more cardsthan my good cases did. Also, I had very little invested—other than taking the timeto organize the cards.So, I decided I would do this kid a favor and send him a free book onmarketing from my favorite author. When I asked him if he wanted a freemarketing book, he got angry, even though I was trying to help him. Insteadof considering my offer, he spouted off Eminem lyrics, telling me that “[hed]rather put out a mother****ing gospel record.”All of his frustration, all of his anger, and all of his wasted time were unnecessary.That is why search is powerful. You do not hunt for your customers, they hunt foryou. You pick the keywords, and the customer picks you. You not only sell whatyour customers want, but you also sell it while they are actively looking for it.The $1 baseball card case is a good analogy for effective search engineoptimization. Imagine the cards in that case as being web pages. It is great to rankwell for a term like SEO, but by ranking well for various small volume searches youmay be able to make far more money in the long run. Longer search phrases havemore implied intent, thus are far more targeted, and convert at a higher rate.Having a social element to your site or business is like having the $400 baseballcard in the case. The people who reference the interesting parts of your site buildup your authority. Based on that authority, search engines learn to trust other partsof your site and send visitors to those pages, as well.You can think of web traffic like my baseball cards. Due to the vastness of themarket and market inefficiencies, there will always be many ways to make money.If you learn how to spread ideas and build an audience, you can make a windfall ofprofits.Interactive ElementsLiterature
  27. 27. 27Godin, Seth. Permission Marketing. New York: Simon & Schuster,1999. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0684856360/.)Some Notes" List five problems your product or products solve. Which of theseproblems are most important to your target audience?" Is there a problem your product solves that no other products do?" Do you have a UNIQUE value proposition that will help you stand out inthe crowd? (This could be being better targeted, more up-to-date, faster,more reliable, safer, etc.). What do you do better than anyone else?" List ten terms or phrases your target audience would search for to findyour products." Calculate the time you spend prospecting clients and the value of that time." Calculate the money you will save if you cut that time in half by rankingwell for a few of the terms you listed.
  28. 28. 28Brief History of the WebThe web has become a direct marketers dream. In its infancy, the web was basedaround the core idea of sharing knowledge. The closer your ideas are in some wayaligned with this idea, the easier it will be to promote your site.The Goal of Search Engines & How They WorkSearch Engine RelevancyMany people think search engines have a hidden agenda. This simply is not true.The goal of the search engine is to provide high-quality content to people searchingthe Internet.Search engines with the broadest distribution network sell the most advertisingspace. As I write this, Google is considered the search engine with the bestrelevancy. Their technologies power the bulk of web searches.The Problem Listing a New SiteThe biggest problem new websites have is that search engines have no idea theyexist. Even when a search engine finds a new document, it has a hard timedetermining its quality. Search engines rely on links to help determine the qualityof a document. Some engines, such as Google, also trust websites more as theyage.The following bits may contain a few advanced search topics. It is fine if you donot necessarily understand them right away; the average webmaster does not needto know search technology in depth. Some might be interested in it, so I havewritten a bit about it with those people in mind. (If you are new to the web anduninterested in algorithms, you may want to skip past this to the search resultimage on page 35.)I will cover some of the parts of the search engine in the next few pages whiletrying to keep it somewhat basic. It is not important that you fully understand allof it (in fact, I think it is better for most webmasters if they do not worry aboutthings like Inverse Document Frequency, as I ranked well for competitive SEO-related terms without knowing anything about the technical bits of search);however, I would not feel right leaving the information out.Chapter2
  29. 29. 29Gerard SaltonThe phrase vector space model, which search algorithms still heavily rely upon today,goes back to the 1970s. Gerard Salton was a well-known expert in the field ofinformation retrieval who pioneered many of today’s modern methods. If you areinterested in learning more about early information retrieval systems, you may wantto read A Theory of Indexing, which is a short book by Salton that describes many ofthe common terms and concepts in the information retrieval field.Mike Grehan’s book, Search Engine Marketing: The Essential Best Practices Guide, alsodiscusses some of the technical bits to information retrieval in more detail than thisbook. My book was created to be a current how-to guide, while his is geared moretoward giving information about how information retrieval works.Parts of a Search EngineWhile there are different ways to organize web content, every crawling searchengine has the same basic parts:" a crawler" an index (or catalog)" a search interfaceCrawler (or Spider)The crawler does just what its name implies. It scours the web following links,updating pages, and adding new pages when it comes across them. Each searchengine has periods of deep crawling and periods of shallow crawling. There is alsoa scheduler mechanism to prevent a spider from overloading servers and to tell thespider what documents to crawl next and how frequently to crawl them.Rapidly changing or highly important documents are more likely to get crawledfrequently. The frequency of crawl should typically have little effect on searchrelevancy; it simply helps the search engines keep fresh content in their index. Thehome page of CNN.com might get crawled once every ten minutes. A popular,rapidly growing forum might get crawled a few dozen times each day. A static sitewith little link popularity and rarely changing content might only get crawled onceor twice a month.The best benefit of having a frequently crawled page is that you can get your newsites, pages, or projects crawled quickly by linking to them from a powerful orfrequently changing page.
  30. 30. 30The IndexThe index is where the spider-collected data are stored. When you perform asearch on a major search engine, you are not searching the web, but the cache ofthe web provided by that search engine’s index.Reverse IndexSearch engines organize their content in what is called a reverse index. A reverseindex sorts web documents by words. When you search Google and it displays 1-10 out of 143,000 websites, it means that there are approximately 143,000 webpages that either have the words from your search on them or have inbound linkscontaining them. Also, note that search engines do not store punctuation, justwords.The following is an example of a reverse index and how a typical search enginemight classify content. While this is an oversimplified version of the real thing, itdoes illustrate the point. Imagine each of the following sentences is the content ofa unique page:The dog ate the cat.The cat ate the mouse.Word Document # Position #The 1,2 1-1, 1-4, 2-1, 2-4Dog 1 2Ate 1,2 1-3, 2-3Cat 1,2 1-5, 2-2Mouse 2 5Storing AttributesSince search engines view pages from their source code in a linear format, it is bestto move JavaScript and other extraneous code to external files to help move thepage copy higher in the source code.Some people also use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or a blank table cell to place thepage content ahead of the navigation. As far as how search engines evaluate whatwords are first, they look at how the words appear in the source code. I have notdone significant testing to determine if it is worth the effort to make your unique
  31. 31. 31page code appear ahead of the navigation, but if it does not take much additionaleffort, it is probably worth doing. Link analysis (discussed in depth later) is farmore important than page copy to most search algorithms, but every little bit canhelp.Google has also hired some people from Mozilla and is likely working on helpingtheir spider understand how browsers render pages. Microsoft published visuallysegmenting research that may help them understand what page content is mostimportant.As well as storing the position of a word, search engines can also store how thedata are marked up. For example, is the term in the page title? Is it a heading?What type of heading? Is it bold? Is it emphasized? Is it in part of a list? Is it inlink text?Words that are in a heading or are set apart from normal text in other ways may begiven additional weighting in many search algorithms. However, keep in mind thatit may be an unnatural pattern for your keyword phrases to appear many times inbold and headings without occurring in any of the regular textual body copy. Also,if a page looks like it is aligned too perfectly with a topic (i.e., overly-focused so asto have an abnormally high keyword density), then that page may get a lowerrelevancy score than a page with a lower keyword density and more natural pagecopy.ProximityBy storing where the terms occur, search engines can understand how close oneterm is to another. Generally, the closer the terms are together, the more likely thepage with matching terms will satisfy your query.If you only use an important group of words on the page once, try to make surethey are close together or right next to each other. If words also occur naturally,sprinkled throughout the copy many times, you do not need to try to rewrite thecontent to always have the words next to one another. Natural sounding content isbest.Stop WordsWords that are common do not help search engines understand documents.Exceptionally common terms, such as the, are called stop words. While searchengines index stop words, they are not typically used or weighted heavily todetermine relevancy in search algorithms. If I search for the Cat in the Hat, searchengines may insert wildcards for the words the and in, so my search will look like‘*cat**hat’.Index NormalizationEach page is standardized to a size. This prevents longer pages from having anunfair advantage by using a term many more times throughout long page copy.This also prevents short pages for scoring arbitrarily high by having a high
  32. 32. 32percentage of their page copy composed of a few keyword phrases. Thus, there isno magical page copy length that is best for all search engines.The uniqueness of page content is far more important than the length. Page copyhas three purposes above all others:" To be unique enough to get indexed and ranked in the search result" To create content that people find interesting enough to want to linkto" To convert site visitors into subscribers, buyers, or people who clickon adsNot every page is going to make sales or be compelling enough to link to, but if, inaggregate, many of your pages are of high-quality over time, it will help boost therankings of nearly every page on your site.Keyword Density, Term Frequency & Term WeightTerm Frequency (TF) is a weighted measure of how often a term appears in adocument. Terms that occur frequently within a document are thought to be someof the more important terms of that document.If a word appears in every (or almost every) document, then it tells you little abouthow to discern value between documents. Words that appear frequently will havelittle to no discrimination value, which is why many search engines ignore commonstop words (like the, and, and or).Rare terms, which only appear in a few or limited number of documents, have amuch higher signal-to-noise ratio. They are much more likely to tell you what adocument is about.Inverse Document Frequency (IDF) can be used to further discriminate the valueof term frequency to account for how common terms are across a corpus ofdocuments. Terms that are in a limited number of documents will likely tell youmore about those documents than terms that are scattered throughout manydocuments.When people measure keyword density, they are generally missing some otherimportant factors in information retrieval such as IDF, index normalization, wordproximity, and how search engines account for the various element types. (Is theterm bolded, in a header, or in a link?)Search engines may also use technologies like latent semantic indexing tomathematically model the concepts of related pages. Google is scanning millionsof books from university libraries. As much as that process is about helping peoplefind information, it is also used to help Google understand linguistic patterns.If you artificially write a page stuffed with one keyword or keyword phrase withoutadding many of the phrases that occur in similar natural documents you may not
  33. 33. 33show up for many of the related searches, and some algorithms may see yourdocument as being less relevant. The key is to write naturally, using various relatedterms, and to structure the page well.Multiple Reverse IndexesSearch engines may use multiple reverse indexes for different content. Mostcurrent search algorithms tend to give more weight to page title and link text thanpage copy.For common broad queries, search engines may be able to find enough qualitymatching documents using link text and page title without needing to spend theadditional time searching through the larger index of page content. Anything thatsaves computer cycles without sacrificing much relevancy is something you cancount on search engines doing.After the most relevant documents are collected, they may be re-sorted based oninterconnectivity or other factors.Around 50% of search queries are unique, and with longer unique queries, there isgreater need for search engines to also use page copy to find enough relevantmatching documents (since there may be inadequate anchor text to display enoughmatching documents).Search InterfaceThe search algorithm and search interface are used to find the most relevantdocument in the index based on the search query. First the search engine tries todetermine user intent by looking at the words the searcher typed in.These terms can be stripped down to their root level (e.g., dropping ing and othersuffixes) and checked against a lexical database to see what concepts they represent.Terms that are a near match will help you rank for other similarly related terms.For example, using the word swims could help you rank well for swim orswimming.Search engines can try to match keyword vectors with each of the specific terms ina query. If the search terms occur near each other frequently, the search enginemay understand the phrase as a single unit and return documents related to thatphrase.WordNet is the most popular lexical database. At the end of this chapter there is alink to a Porter Stemmer tool if you need help conceptualizing how stemmingworks.
  34. 34. 34Searcher FeedbackSome search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!, have toolbars and systems likeGoogle Search History and My Yahoo!, which collect information about a user.Search engines can also look at recent searches, or what the search process was forsimilar users, to help determine what concepts a searcher is looking for and whatdocuments are most relevant for the user’s needs.As people use such a system it takes time to build up a search query history and aclick-through profile. That profile could eventually be trusted and used to" aid in search personalization" collect user feedback to determine how well an algorithm is working" help search engines determine if a document is of decent quality (e.g.,if many users visit a document and then immediately hit the backbutton, the search engines may not continue to score that documentwell for that query).I have spoken with some MSN search engineers and examined a video about MSNsearch. Both experiences strongly indicated a belief in the importance of useracceptance. If a high-ranked page never gets clicked on, or if people typicallyquickly press the back button, that page may get demoted in the search results forthat query (and possibly related search queries). In some cases, that may also flag apage or website for manual review.As people give search engines more feedback and as search engines collect a largercorpus of data, it will become much harder to rank well using only links. The moresatisfied users are with your site, the better your site will do as search algorithmscontinue to advance.Real-Time versus Prior-to-Query CalculationsIn most major search engines, a portion of the relevancy calculations are storedahead of time. Some of them are calculated in real time.Some things that are computationally expensive and slow processes, such ascalculating overall inter-connectivity (Google calls this PageRank), are done aheadof time.Many search engines have different data centers, and when updates occur, they rollfrom one data center to the next. Data centers are placed throughout the world tominimize network lag time. Assuming it is not overloaded or down formaintenance, you will usually get search results from the data centers nearest you.If those data centers are down or if they are experiencing heavy load, your searchquery might be routed to a different data center.
  35. 35. 35Search Algorithm ShiftsSearch engines such as Google and Yahoo! may update their algorithm dozens oftimes per month. When you see rapid changes in your rankings, it is usually due toan algorithmic shift, a search index update, or something else outside of yourcontrol. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, and some of the effects take a while tokick in.Usually, if you change something on a page, it is not reflected in the search resultsthat same day. Linkage data also may take a while to have an effect on searchrelevancy as search engines need to find the new links before they can evaluatethem, and some search algorithms may trust links more as the links age.The key to SEO is to remember that rankings are always changing, but the moreyou build legitimate signals of trust and quality, the more often you will come outon top.Relevancy Wins Distribution!The more times a search leads to desired content, the more likely a person is to usethat search engine again. If a search engine works well, a person does not justcome back, they also tell their friends about it, and they may even download theassociated toolbar. The goal of all major search engines is to be relevant. If theyare not, they will fade (as many already have).Search Engine Business ModelSearch engines make money when people click on the sponsored advertisements.In the search result below you will notice that both Viagra and Levitra are biddingon the term Viagra. The area off to the right displays sponsored advertisements forthe term Viagra. Google gets paid whenever a searcher clicks on any of thesponsored listings.The white area off to the left displays the organic (free) search results. Google doesnot get paid when people click on these. Google hopes to make it hard for searchengine optimizers (like you and I) to manipulate these results to keep relevancy ashigh as possible and to encourage people to buy ads.Later in this e-book we will discuss both organic optimization and pay-per-clickmarketing.
  36. 36. 36Image of Search ResultsOrigins of the WebThe Web started off behind the idea of the free flow of information as envisionedby Tim Berners-Lee. He was working at CERN in Europe. CERN had asomewhat web-like environment in that many people were coming and going andworked on many different projects.Tim created a site that described how the Web worked and placed it live on thefirst server at info.cern.ch. Europe had very little backing or interest in the Webback then, so U.S. colleges were the first groups to set up servers. Tim added linksto their server locations from his directory known as the Virtual Library.Current link popularity measurements usually show college web pages typicallyhave higher value than most other pages do. This is simply a function of thefollowing:" The roots of the WWW started in lab rooms at colleges. It was not untilthe mid to late 1990s that the Web became commercialized." The web contains self-reinforcing social networks." Universities are pushed as sources of authority." Universities are heavily funded." Universities have quality controls on much of their content.
  37. 37. 37Early Search EnginesThe Web did not have sophisticated search engines when it began. The mostadvanced information gatherers of the day primitively matched file names. Youhad to know the name of the file you were looking for to find anything. The firstfile that matched was returned. There was no such thing as search relevancy. Itwas this lack of relevancy that lead to the early popularity of directories such asYahoo!.Many search engines such as AltaVista, and later Inktomi, were industry leaders fora period of time, but the rush to market and lack of sophistication associated withsearch or online marketing prevented these primitive machines from havingfunctional business models.Overture was launched as a pay-per-click search engine in 1998. While theOverture system (now known as Yahoo! Search Marketing) was profitable, mostportals were still losing money. The targeted ads they delivered grew in popularityand finally created a functional profit generating business model for large-scalegeneral search engines.Commercialized Cat & MouseWeb = Cheap Targeted MarketingAs the Internet grew in popularity, people realized it was an incredibly cheapmarketing platform. Compare the price of spam (virtually free) to direct mail (~ $1each). Spam fills your inbox and wastes your time.Information retrieval systems (search engines) must also fight off aggressivemarketing techniques to keep their search results relevant. Search engines markettheir problems as spam, but the problem is that they need to improve theiralgorithms.It is the job of search engines to filter through the junk to find and return relevantresults.There will always be someone out there trying to make a quick buck. Who can faultsome marketers for trying to find holes in parasitic search systems that leverageothers’ content without giving any kickback?Becoming a ResourceThough I hate to quote a source I do not remember, I once read that one in threepeople believe the top search result is the most relevant document relating to theirsearch. Imagine the power associated with people finding your view of the worldfirst. Whatever you are selling, someone is buying!
  38. 38. 38I have been quoted as a source of information on Islam simply because I wroteabout a conversation I had with a person from Kuwait who called me for help onthe web. I know nothing about Islam, but someone found my post in a searchengine…so I was quoted in their term paper. College professors sourced somesites I am embarrassed to admit I own.Sometimes good things happen to you and sometimes the competition gets lucky.Generally the harder you work, and the more original and useful your site is, themore often you will get lucky.Business LinksAs easy as it is to get syndicated with useful interesting and unique information, it ismuch harder to get syndicated with commercial ideas, especially if the site does notadd significant value to a transaction. Often times links associated with commercialsites are business partnerships.Many people do well to give information away and then attach a product to theirbusiness model. You probably would have never read this e-book if I did not havea blog associated with it. On the same note, it would also be significantly easier forme to build links to SEOBook.com if I did not sell this e-book on it.Depending on your skills, faults, and business model, sometimes it is best to makeyour official voice one site and then sell stuff on another, or add the commercialelements to the site after it has gained notoriety and trust. Without knowingyou, it is hard to advise you which road to take, but if you build value before tryingto extract profits, you will do better than if you do it the other way around.Ease of ReferenceIf my site was sold as being focused on search and I wrote an e-book or bookabout power searching, it would be far easier for me to get links than running a siteabout SEO. For many reasons, the concept of SEO is hated in many circles. Theconcept of search is much easier to link at.Sometimes by broadening, narrowing, or shifting your topic it becomes far easierfor people to reference you.Primitive Search TechnologyAs the Web grew, content grew faster than technology did. The primitive nature ofsearch engines promoted the creation of content, but not the creation of qualitycontent. Search engines had to rely on the documents themselves to state theirpurpose. Most early search engines did not even use the full page content either,relying instead on page title and document name to match results. Then camealong meta tags.
  39. 39. 39Meta TagsMeta tags were used to help search engines organize the Web. Documents listedkeywords and descriptions that were used to match user queries. Initially these tagswere somewhat effective, but over time, marketers exploited them and they losttheir relevancy.People began to stuff incredibly large amounts of data (which was frequently offtopic) into these tags to achieve high search engine rankings. Porn and other high-margin websites published meta tags like “free, free, free, free, Disney, free.”Getting a better ranking simply meant you repeated your keywords a few moretimes in the meta tags.Banners, Banners, BannersIt did not help anything that during the first Web bubble stocks were based oneyeballs, not profits. That meant that people were busy trying to buy any type ofexposure they could, which ended up making it exceptionally profitable to spamsearch engines to show off topic random banners on websites.The Bubble BurstThe Internet bubble burst. What caused such a fast economic recovery was theshift from selling untargeted ad impressions to selling targeted leads. This meantthat webmasters lost much of their incentive for trying to get any kind of trafficthey could. Suddenly it made far greater sense to try to get niche-targeted traffic.In 1998, Overture pioneered the pay-per-click business model that most all majorsearch engines rely on. Google AdWords enhanced the model by adding a fewmore variables to the equation—the most important one is factoring ad click-through rate (CTR) into the ad ranking algorithm.Google extended the targeted advertisement marketing by delivering relevantcontextual advertisements on publisher websites via the Google AdSense program.More and more ad spending is coming online because it is easy to track the returnon investment. As search algorithms continue to improve, the value of havingwell-cited, original, useful content increases daily.Advancing Search TechnologyInstead of relying exclusively on page titles and meta tags, search engine now indexthe entire page contents. Since search engines have been able to view entire pages,the hidden inputs (such as meta tags) have lost much of their importance inrelevancy algorithms.The best way for search engines to provide relevant results is to emulate a user andrank the page based on the same things the user see and do (Do users like thiswebsite? Do they quickly hit the back button?), and what other people are saying
  40. 40. 40about the document (For example, does anybody link to this page or site? Who islinking at it? What is the link text? And so on.).What is Search Engine Spam?Search engines make billions of dollars each year selling ads. Most search enginetraffic goes to the free, organically listed sites. The ratio of traffic distribution isgoing to be keyword dependent and search engine dependent, but I believe about85% of Google’s traffic clicks on the organic listings. Most other search enginesdisplay ads a bit more aggressively than Google does. In many of those searchengines, organic listings get around 70% of the traffic. Some sites rank well onmerit, while others are there due exclusively to ranking manipulation.In many situations, a proper SEO campaign can provide a much greater ROI thanpaid ads do. This means that while search engine optimizers—known in theindustry as SEOs—and search engines have business models that may overlap,they may also compete with one another for ad dollars. Sometimes SEOs andsearch engines are friends with each other, and, unfortunately, sometimes they areenemies.When search engines return relevant results, they get to deliver more ads. Whentheir results are not relevant, they lose market share. Beyond relevancy, somesearch engines also try to bias the search results to informational sites such thatcommercial sites are forced into buying ads.I have had a single page that I have not actively promoted randomly send mecommission checks for over $1,000. There is a huge sum of money inmanipulating search results. There are ways to improve search engine placementthat go with the goals of the search engines, and there are also ways that go againstthem. Quality SEOs aim to be relevant, whether or not they follow searchguidelines.Many effective SEO techniques may be considered somewhat spammy.Like anything in life, you should make an informed decision about which SEOtechniques you want to use and which ones you do not (and the odds are, you careabout learning the difference, or you wouldn’t be reading this).You may choose to use highly aggressive, “crash and burn” techniques, or slower,more predictable, less risky techniques. Most industries will not require extremelyaggressive promotional techniques. Later on I will try to point out whichtechniques are which.Using Overtly Manipulative TechniquesWhile there will always be ways to manipulate the search engines, there is no tellingif you will eventually get caught and lose your rankings if you optimize your site
  41. 41. 41using overtly deceptive techniques. In any business such as SEO, there will bedifferent risk levels.Search engines try hard not to flag false positives (label good sites as spam), sothere is usually a bunch of slack to play with, but many people also make commonmistakes, like incorrectly using a 302 redirect, or not using specific page titles ontheir pages, or allowing spiders to index multiple URLs with the same content. Ifyou are ever in doubt if you are making technical errors, feel free to search a fewSEO forums or ask me.The search engines aim to emulate users. If you design good content for users andbuild a smart linking campaign, eventually it will pay off.New aggressive techniques pop up all the time. As long as they are available,people will exploit them. People will force the issue until search engines close theloophole, and then people will find a new one. The competitive nature of webmarketing forces search engines to continuously improve their algorithms andfilters.In my opinion, the ongoing effort of keeping up with the latest SEO tricks isusually not worth it for most webmasters. Some relational database programmersand people with creative or analytical minds may always be one step ahead, but theaverage business owner probably does not have the time to dedicate to keeping upwith the latest tricks.Tying ethics to SEO techniques is a marketing scam. Either a technique iseffective, or it is not. There is nothing unethical about being aggressive. Youprobably do not want to take big risks with domains you cannot afford to haveblacklisted, but there is nothing wrong with owning a few test sites.Following Google’s GuidanceSome sites that are not aggressively promoted still fall out of favor on occasion. Asa webmaster following Google’s guidelines, you still can not expect Google to oweyou free traffic. You have to earn it by making others cite your website.SEO Feedback LoopThe effects of SEO do take time to kick in. At any given time, considering howdynamically the web changes, there will be some holes in search algorithms thatmake certain SEO techniques exceptionally effective.I have spoken with current search engine engineers working at major searchengines in regards to this e-book. I also have spoken with database programmerswho later became some of the world’s most technically advanced SEOs. Some ofthese programmers have told me what some would consider tricks that work reallywell, but they only work really well because few people know about them.
  42. 42. 42I do not try to promote the latest search spamming techniques in this e-book forthe following reasons:" They are the most likely to quickly change. Some things that arecutting-edge and effective today can become ineffective and actuallyhurt you tomorrow." Some of them can be damaging to your brand." Aggressive techniques are the some of the most likely techniques to getyour site banned." Some things are told to me as a secret, and if they are made openlyavailable to anyone (including search engine engineers—some whohave read this e-book), then they lose their value, and I lose my friendsand resources." I do not have a lot of experience with exceptionally aggressivepromotional techniques, as I have not needed them to rank well inmost the markets I worked in." People who use aggressive techniques are not evil or bad, but I cannotpossibly put accurate, current, useful, and risky information out toeveryone in an e-book format and expect it to not cause problems forsome people." To me, effective web promotion is balancing risk versus reward.SEOBook.com got on the first page of Google for SEO within ninemonths of making the site, with less than $5,000 spent on promotion.Most sites do not need to use overly aggressive and risky promotionaltechniques. SEO works so well because most sites on the web do notactively practice effective SEO.Choosing a Domain NameOptional Business ModelsMany web-based businesses fail because they do not have a functional businessmodel. Before you even choose a name for your site you should know your targetaudience, what you intend to sell to them, and what will make your business ideaunique or different than everything else that is already on the market.You can still make significant profits without being sure what you want to sell ifyou can solve large problems and make life easier for a group of targeted people.At any level, you still have to know your goals and the reasons why you are creatinga site.My first few sites failed because they had no functional business models. Theyadded little value to the web. That is not to say that I didn’t learn from them,because I did, but they led me to creating this one. If you are uncertain of yourself,don’t be afraid to create multiple channels just to try them out. If you know youwant to do something for the long run, you may want to spend a bit of timeBefore you pick a domainname, it helps to knowyour target audience, whatyou intend to sell to them,and what makes your siteunique or different thaneverything else that isalready on the market.
  43. 43. 43watching the marketplace before pouring too much effort into making a huge sitethat is hard to update.SEOBook.com has done exceptionally well, and it has even revived the value andbusiness models of some of my other sites. The single biggest thing I have goingfor me is the social currency my blog has created.A Horrible Domain IdeaSome people think it is incredibly important to have keywords in a domain. Peoplepurchase domains like look-4-buy-cheap-discount-viagra-online-pharmacy.com.This is a horrible domain name!An exact matching domain name in a competitive market can be seen as a signal ofquality since acquiring one would either indicate that you were early to the marketor paid a premium for the URL. If your site exhibits a number of strong brandrelated characteristics, such as high search volume for brand related keywords, highclickthrough rate for core brand related searches, many repeat visitors, or relevantmatching URL and/or anchor text, there is a good chance that Google will place aset of Sitelinks in the search results for brand related search queries.For example, if someone searches for SEO Book, Google shows the following asthe top resultKeywords in the domain name may help some (as people tend to link to websitesusing their official names as the link text), but if I were going to create a long-termbusiness, I would put brand above keyword-rich, unless you can find somethingthat allows you to leverage both assets.If you are creative, you usually can get keywords in the domain while keeping itshort, memorable, fairly brandable, and free of hyphens.Here is an article about the effect of domain names on anchor text(http://www.search-marketing.info/newsletter/articles/domain-name.htm). SinceI originally wrote the article, Google has gotten a lot better at detecting naturallinkage data, so it is important to ensure you mix your inbound link text. Tips onmixing anchor text are located in the link building sections of this e-book.
  44. 44. 44Dashed Domain NamesDirect marketing mail campaigns usually peak in effectiveness around the thirdexposure to a marketing message. Many shoppers look around. If you want themto come back, you want to have a domain name that will stick in their heads. It canhave keywords in it, but the thing you want more than anything else is a name thatsticks.If the option between having the dash in the domain and not having a dash exists,you are probably better off going without the dash as it looks more professionaland would most likely be more memorable.It is branding suicide to only have users find your site via search engines. If you arehoping to make sales on the first view in search engines, you need strongcopywriting and usability.If you are just using quick-buck-lead-generation websites then you may want to usea keyword-rich hyphenated domain for the small benefit it may offer, but in mostcases, I do not recommend a hyphenated domain name for long-term websites.Long versus Short URLsPeople will forget the words in a domain name that is exceptionally long. Anotherproblem with exceptionally long URLs is that they get cut off in e-mails and someother data transmission types. If you make the idea hard to spread, then you limityour site’s potential income.The Best of Both Worlds!What if you could get some of the benefits of a long keyword rich domain whilestill using a shorter and easy to brand domain name? You can!If you use a short, branded domain, you can still include your keywords in yourpage title and logo to help control how some people link at your site. For example,a company like PayPal can register the domain Paypal.com, but put the wordspayment solutions or online payments in their logo near the word PayPal. Some peoplewill reference them with those words as part of the company name.Search engines associate words that occur near one another. For example,Google showed the following as suggested advertisements.On the far right notice how Google realized that my name and the name of mystrongest brand are related.If you can work your name or your company name into the default topicalvocabulary of a search, you will have a strong advantage over your competitors.Using your keywords inyour domain name canincrease click-throughrates on search enginelistings and paid ads aswell as make it easier toget keyword-rich inboundlinks. But you want toconsider balancing theeffects on brand and yourlong-term goals beforedeciding what name touse.

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